Arthur Ashe, Althea Gibson, James Blake and Venus and Serena Williams are famous black tennis players. Ashe started playing in 1950 at age 7 and claimed his first junior national title in 1960. He was ranked number one worldwide and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985. Ashe was the first African-American male to win U.S. Open and Wimbledon singles competitions in 1968 and 1975, respectively.Continue Reading
Althea Gibson held the American Tennis Association's championship title in women's singles from 1947 to 1957. She was the first African-American to be named Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press and won a string of major singles competitions from 1956 to 1958, including the U.S. Open, French Open and Wimbledon.
Despite a major neck injury and medical setbacks, James Black achieved a world ranking of number four and an American ranking of number one. He reached the semifinals at the Beijing Olympics and was part of the championship-winning U.S. team at the 2007 Davis Cup.
Sisters Venus and Serena Williams turned pro at age 14 in 1994 and 1995, respectively. The have won multiple Olympic gold medals in singles and double competitions. As of 2014, Venus has won 10 Grand Slam titles, while Serena racked up more than 30. Venus has won the U.S. Open and five Wimbledon championships. Serena has had one of the most successful tennis careers in history, repeatedly winning championship titles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the French Open and the Australian Open.Learn more about Tennis